From Osaka you take the train to Hiroshima. A few hours with the Shinkansen stopping in Okayama. Here you change to a local train that takes another hour and a half. Not that this is a bother, you go through a beautiful mountainous area, where you follow the Takahashi river all the time through the most beautiful villages.
Once in Niimi we get out. from here take a taxi to Shosui san's workshop. He is waiting for us, one of the friendliest knifesmiths I know. Fortunately, we had already met in Europe, so the ice has already been broken.
Shosui san makes his knives in his workshop in Niimi. Niimi is not at all a well-known place for forging knives, but his father had already started here and this is his home. Shosui san only attends 4 fairs a year and prefers to stay in his city. Takeda knives are renowned worldwide for their quality and customers love it. Shosui is currently at its maximum. No more new customers, no more knives than now. We are honored that we have been chosen as a permanent sales point.
Shosui Takeda's specialty is forging in particular: thin, thinner and thinnest. Takeda forges his blade very thin, after which he no longer has to sharpen it. The blade is actually hollow forged and the cutting edge is sharpened by hand. The thin blade has little resistance and the core of aogami super is Japan's best steel for chef's knives. Knives are manually checked by the master himself.
The stainless kurouichi outer layer is stainless and gives the knife a raw appearance. Previously the handles were made of rosewood, but slowly the handles are being replaced by maple. This is thanks to new import rules from different countries. An extra layer of epoxy is filled at the bolster to make the handle completely waterproof for a long life.
TAKEDA HAMONO has been forging chef's knives, sickles, cleavers and hunting knives since 1952. Shosui Takeda is the third generation of this small family business, which has been in existence since 1920. Takeda's Shosui san strives to make every knife unique and tries to get better: "You are only as good as your last knife", according to Shosui san. Anyone who has cut with a TAKEDA knife knows that this is a completely different knife, extremely thin, really razor sharp and an unparalleled cutting ease. Each knife is completely forged by hand and always different in dimensions. Thanks to the rustproof outer layer, only the cutting surface is sensitive to oxidation. The octagonal handles give a lot of hand feeling and each model is suitable for both left and right-handers.